Thursday, April 26, 2012

X is for X-Rated

Many will say that romance is the best selling genre out there today. Some will go further and say erotica is the largest selling sub-genre of all time. It's not really my thing (I'll go as far as 'spicy', but that's about it for me), but like I've mentioned before, the great thing about romance is there's something out there for everyone. From chaste kisses to explicit sex, the romance genre has it all. So what makes erotica such a big seller these days? I recently read an interesting article that gave much of the credit to e-readers. E-readers allow women (and men) to be discreet about what they read. The fabled 'bodice rippers' draw much attention to themselves. It's hard to be discreet when the cover of the book you're reading boasts a shirtless hero with ripped abs and huge man nipples. Not to mention the heroine on the front with her breasts barely contained by the neckline of her gown. Of course as Rachel on the TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. once said, "There's nothing wrong with a woman enjoying a little healthy erotica." And I agree. But according to the article, in the past, the blatant covers and suggestive titles made some readers reluctant to bring their books out in a public venue. In general I think these days people are fairly open about what they read, but if they choose, an e-reader can keep their secret indulgence just that: a secret. The article referred to them as 'the ultimate brown paper wrapper'. E-books are definitely changing the face of romance. Perhaps in more ways than one. Until next time, Happy Reading (whatever you choose!) Debra


  1. Interesting post, Debra. I follow Smart Bitches on Twitter and she was having a debate about this very thing. She was taking offense, however, to ereaders as a way for readers to hide what they read, saying romance readers are not ashamed. But I happen to agree with you. I think ereaders make it more comfortable for people to read whatever they want. On the flip side, though, I also think ereaders draw more attention to the people using them and are more likely to get others to ask you about them and what you're reading.

  2. Erotica used to come in brown paper wrappers.

    Your post also made me think of the soft porn on cable. Some have "soft" plots (plots derived from setting). Others get right to the skin interfacing. Boring.

  3. I agree that e-readers allow you to read whatever you want without anyone knowing which may have its advantages at times!
    However, I have no desire to read (let alone write) erotica. I've read some excerpts as part of the Six Sentence Sunday bloghop, and I'd agree with what Ana says - boring. I'm not a prude by any means, but there are times when I can't distinguish so-called erotica from porn. It does absolutely nothing for me!

  4. Jennifer...there are defintely two ways to look at it for sure. In one way, then, e-readers would be a good conversation starter!

    Ana, I didn't know that about the brown paper wrappers!

    Paula, It doesn't too much for me either, but I'm not offended if it's someone else's reading pleasure!

  5. I recently promised to beta read my friend's novel. I didn't realise she knew so much about the erotic world! It was too much for me, I go as far as spicy.

    Interesting about the ereader issue. I was pleased to be reading my friends ms via the computer. I would have hated to be seen with a juicy cover in my hand.